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Weekly Defense Industry Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

End of VA Honor System Cuts 70% of Vendors with Veteran Status

Leah Nylen and Kathleen Miller, Bloomberg Government, Washington Post. A new mandate from the Department of Veterans Affairs forcing companies to prove their ownership and management status as veteran owned companies has seen over 70% of the companies previously enrolled in the program leave the effort. Over 18,800 companies have quit the veteran set-aside, leaving just over 8,200 remaining. While many were not actually meeting the eligibility rules, the new program requirements are so extensive that many companies are struggling to comply. The requirements include such obscure needs as 25 canceled checks, five of their most recent contracts and banking records that many do not wish to reveal. In the end there is great opportunity for truly veteran-owned firms who meet the demands to gain momentum with government contracts.

AIA Starts PR Press Against Cuts

Zachary Fryer-Biggs, Defense News. The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) rolled out a major public relations campaign called “Second to None” this week to combat threatened military spending cuts that would undermine the defense industry. Citing the danger to what is described as a fragile industry, they are putting a full court press on Congress to agree to spare any additional defense spending cuts.

Deputy US Defense Nominee Warns on Big Budget Cuts

David Alexander, Reuters. During his confirmation hearing this week Deputy Secretary of Defense nominee Dr. Ashton Carter warned the Senate Armed Services Committee this week that further cuts beyond the agreed upon $350B would be devastating to the department. Carter was very direct stating “It’s arbitrary. It deprives us of the opportunity of strategic choice. It put a haircut across everything.” Carter explained that further cuts would lead to cuts of major “must have” weapons procurements and employee furloughs.

Obama Wants Small Businesses Paid in 15 Days

Matthew Weigelt, Federal Computer Week. President Obama announced this week a new “QuickPay” plan that will see prime contractor small businesses eligible to receive payments on valid invoices in just 15 days instead of the current 30 day standard. This is a significant change since many small businesses are unable or reluctant to take on government contracts due to the long lead times between work executed and subsequent paychecks owed to employees and the government’s ponderous payment system. If successfully implemented this small rule change could substantially increase the viability of government contracts for small companies looking to grow.

Small Contractors Flourished After 9/11 Attacks

W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times. An interesting look at how smaller companies have been able to make significant impacts on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan due to the need for unique and diverse systems to deal with the evolving threats on the battlefield. DoD found that small firms were more agile and innovative in many ways, e.g. the small hand held UAV’s now deployed with most units in combat and ITT Defense’s innovative counter-IED systems. The question remains whether this trend will continue in light of the defense budget cuts and winding down of today’s conflicts.

Canine programs expand to save more troops

Michelle Tan, Army Times. Combat dogs have proven hugely successful in assisting troops in combat identify hidden explosives and ambushes. Two new programs for the Marines and Army intend to train even more canine team members for combat forces. The dogs have become so key that the only identified team member of the Osama bin Laden raid was Cairo the combat dog.

Landstuhl’s Life-Saving Success

David Rising, Associated Press, Washington Times. The AP takes a look at the remarkable success of the Army’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center since the beginning of the war on terror. The staff has treated an astounding 13,000 combat and 64,000 non-combat injuries fed from theater with a remarkable 99.5% survival rate of their trauma patients. Innovations and constant improvements have led to Landstuhl’s reputation: As long as you can make the flight there, you have made it safely to live another day.

Fred Wellman with General Petraeus in Iraq

Fred Wellman, President ScoutComms, brings us his weekly review of defense industry news via The Scout Report. Fred served over twenty years as an Army officer in both aviation and public affairs. You can follow Fred on Twitter @ScoutComms.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 16, 2011 9:10 am

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